Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Lesson Summary- 24/02/14

Topic: Comprehension
Materials: CHIJ Preliminary Examination Paper 1

Question 1: (Find out the keywords which will allow you to gain the marks)
  • Xplore (Learning new things)
  • Xplore (Exploring & Enquiring)

  • Xperiment (Create)
  • Xperiment (Experimenting)

Question 2: (Find the purpose of the advertisement in regards to the context)
  • Representation of someone who is creative and loves to experiment (in Einstein)

Question 3: (Search out the information directly from the text)
  • (Benefits for entering the competition)

Question 4: (Infer why support from companies are important for the competition to be a success)
  • To set the standard of the competition by having credible backing
  • More people will be inclined to join in on the competition

Question 5: (Tone in relation to the relationship between the author and the two people)
  • Sarcastic tone (To highlight her plight due to the lack of money)
  • Friendly tone (To ease their way into getting their money back)
  • Intimidating tone (To make the author afraid in order to push her to pay up her dues)

Question 6: (To state the function of inverted commas in context of the passage)
  • To contradict a visitor’s typical open reception by the owner of the house

Question 7: (State the phrase given in the passage, and then infer from the paragraph why it happened)
  • i) ‘Stunned’
  • ii) The writer was too shocked ‘to even move or talk’

Question 8: (State the similar words/phrase that’s given in the line)
  • i) Lumbering
  • ii) Stoic endurance

Question 9: (Something that was expected to happen, but something else occurred in it’s place)
  • Expected (The husband should be worried about their plight)
  • Unexpected (He was confident that they will be able to make do) 

Question 10: (Infer the problem, and then explain further for 2 marks)
  • Her life was full of problems
  • Husband did not fully support her or see her troubles

*posted on behalf on Shawn Kit*

Friday, 21 February 2014

Homework and Preparation for Term 1 Week 7

Reading Programme
Deadline: 25 Feb (Tue)
The files you have submitted this week will be returned on 25 Feb (Tue) during assembly. Please take 5 min during your recess to get ready this week’s reading tasks for submission by the end of the day.  You are to read the articles found here for this week's reading task and complete the question at the end. 

Feedback for CHIJ Secondary Preliminary Examination 2013 Paper 2
We will be doing the feedback for this comprehension practice this week. You have submitted the work to me a few weeks ago. Please re-read the passages to prepare yourself for the lesson and bring along the passages.

There is no other preparation required this week. 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Lesson Summary for 10/02 & 14/02

Example (from sample paragraphs for analysis of paragraph development):
Question: Should richer nations stop giving aid to poorer ones? 
Point: As much as economic progress is a strong reason for aid to continue, political stability is no less crucial. 


• General
• Related to stand and question
• Contains keywords from the question or related words found using word association) Corresponding words can also be used. 
(In the e.g.: The word "aid" appears in the question, and also in the point and the stand. The usage of the word "continue" in the point corresponds with the word "stop" in the question.)
• Link back to point stated in previous paragraph
(In the e.g.: It shows that the author's stand is that no, the richer nations should not stop giving aid to poorer ones. This is because there are economic reasons for doing so, as discussed in the previous paragraphs. This paragraph will instead be moving on to elaborating on political reasons.)

Brainstorming of points:

• Use SPECTRUM as all the points will be easier to link to each other
(In the e.g.: The author has used the political segment to talk about politics and economics, which are linked to one another)


• Must be "tight" by anticipating questions the reader might have about the point
• Includes keywords from the question and the point it is supporting
• After each part, the next line must answer the previous claim and its anticipated questions
(E.g. Every major event hosted by a country invariably brings about a boom in infrastructure development within the country. (Questions anticipated: Why is there a boom in infrastructure development? What about this boom?) A large international competition where thousands will be spectating, imposes the need for urbanisation, to make it seem more modern and impress the world. (Explains the question: Why is there a boom in infrastructure development?) These changes will not only serve to fulfil the demands of the sports competition, it also serves to benefit the people of the country. (Link back to the point about infrastructure boom))


• Link it to the point and question by using similar/paraphrased keywords 
(In the e.g.: The Soviet Union example is more relevant as it is stated that it was an aid issue, where their political instability was evidently caused by their lack of aid. For the Nazis' example, nothing about aid was mentioned, so it was not considered to be linked back.)
• Check for irrelevance by fitting the keyword(s) from the question into the example. If they cannot be fitted into the example properly, it is highly possible that the point is not relevant

(In the e.g.: The author is supposed to fit in both "political instability" and "aid")

Done by Carven and Jamie :D

Friday, 14 February 2014

Homework and Preparation for Term 1 Week 7

Reading Programme
Deadline: 18 Feb (Tue)
The files you have submitted this week will be returned on 18 Feb (Tue) during assembly. Please take 5 min during your recess to get ready this week’s reading tasks for submission by the end of the day.  You are to read the following articles for this week's reading task:
(a) "Developing a sense of rootedness" found here and complete the reading task at the end of the article. 
(b) Article on Television given out during assembly today and write one paragraph, supported by your own examples, in response to the following question:

How applicable are the criticism made by the author to all forms screen entertainment readily available to children today?

Preparation for Lessons
Do a brief research on the issues from "Our Singapore Conversations" mentioned in your question paper for the proposal writing assignment you did a few weeks ago. You should be familiar with the background of the issues listed. The question paper can be found here

Monday, 10 February 2014

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Feedback on Reading Tasks submitted in Term 1 Week 5

1) Gender is no longer a helpful concept
2) How to eat ice cream

Citing the author's argument in your response
The purpose of the reading task is to get you to critique the author's arguments. Given the purpose, it should be clear that you would need to do the following:
(a) Identify the specific arguments from the author which you would like to discuss
(b) State your position on these arguments

Many of you did not identify any arguments from the text and went straight to give your own opinion on the issue in general. Such a discussion can be done even without close reading of the text and is not the intention of the Reading Programme. In real life, it is like having a discussion with someone without addressing any of his points specifically.

Several students did manage to identify arguments from the text. But for this group of students, a common problem is the presentation of your information. If you are unclear in your signalling, your reader would not be able to tell which part of your paragraph consists of the author's argument and which part consists of yours. A simple way of doing the signalling would be to use phrase such as "The author argues / points out / states that...", "One point from the author is that...", "I think that...", "I agree with the author...". You could also replace the word 'author' with the first name of the author (e.g. Lo).

Summarising / Repeating / Explaining the text
The Reading Task is an application task, not a summary task. As such, there is no need to spend an inordinate amount of time to summarise, repeat or explain the text. Just cite whatever you need to make your argument. You can assume that your reader would have read the same text as you. Having said that, do not cite blindly from the text either. You need to show some understanding, and it is possible to show understanding without needing to do a lot of explanation. In fact, much of your understanding would be displayed in your ability to make judgements on the author's arguments and draw in your own examples to relate to these arguments.

Supporting your opinion with your own examples
Many students are not providing any examples to support your opinion. What you cite as examples are often mere opinions. It would be good to review your understanding of what constitutes an opinion and what constitutes an example.

Key points in the text "Gender is no longer a helpful concept" 
Lo points out that in terms of differences in economic roles (e.g. jobs), social roles and expectations, and even biological roles, gender as a differentiating concept is becoming increasingly irrelevant. However, he maintains that the concept of gender still has an important role to play as a moral guardian.

Students may discuss any of the points raised by Lo and relate it to their society. Some students ignored the requirement to relate the points to the situation in their society and went on to write a general response about gender roles in the world, which was largely irrelevant to the question.

Key points in the text "How to eat ice cream"
Eco opines that there is a human tendency for excesses and waste. He laments that this is worsened by parents over-indulging their children and spoiling them, and a consumerist society trying to do the same to adults. He finds this development undesirable, indecent and decadent. Students were asked if they found Eco's concern still applicable in today's society (in general, not just your society).

Students may choose to discuss whether children and adults in today's society are still being encouraged to over-indulge and if so, whether such over-indulgence is indeed undesirable. A typical argument would likely point out that today's children are also spoilt with many of them being given expensive things they do not need (just like having two 2 cents cones), for example, smartphones. A valid concern would be the values and attitudes that the children would grow up with, as well as how consumerism can be harmful to the environment.  However, it is also possible to disagree with the author. Smartphones for example, could be seen as an investment in the future of the children, by getting them exposed to the technology that drives their world at an earlier age so as to give them an edge. Therefore, it might not be fair to characterise smartphones as two 2 cents cones. Moreover, consumerism is not entirely without its merits. It is the engine that drives the world economy, helping to lift many in the world out of poverty and bringing us many modern conveniences.

Friday, 7 February 2014

English Summary 28 January 2014

We did the GESS paper

Question 5:
"strange" means that there was an expectation, and it was not fulfilled.

Question 6:
tangle a.k.a. 1) hostile 2) trapped

- be specific
e.g. "whistling and stirling" the weather
its supposed to be wind
wind ≠ weather

- use metaphors to describe

Question 7:
After stating example from the text, explain please.
i) e.g.  Yes. The two enemies stood glaring at one another...

(this does not mean that they hate each other. so at the end, link to....)

...it shows the amount of hatred and dislike they had for each other, enemies of one another.

Question 8:
state definition, then state the word used in the situation.
spot the irony, and state why its effective - remember to read and answer all parts of the question

Question 9:

Question 10:
question is referring to the situation by 1) physical 2) emotional
tight tangle = hopelessly trapped
thick strewn = utter discrimination

Question 11 + 13:
11) i) strange medley
"strange" because of the word "jumbled"

hopeful - wanted to find his enemy
indignant - after all that has happened, he didnt give up. thus, felt angry.

Lesson Summary for 6 February 2014

Key Learning Points

When finding points for essays,

  • cannot be too specific or too general
  • some overlapping with other points is fine, but not too much
e.g. certain things --> undesirable material --> pornography
       areas of our lives --> leisure --> relationships/work/school
In this case, "undesirable material" and "leisure" are the best choice to use as points.

1. Parents often believe that it is better to be safe than sorry. Do you consider young people to be too protected?

  • the word "too" means that: it is excessive, has a negative connotation
  • the words "young people" are the focus for the question
The first sentence is a statement, not a question, hence there is no need to argue your stand about it.

Key questions:
In what ways? What is considered too protected?

2. "The way we dress reveals who we are." What are your views?

  • the word "what": we are asked to state whether this is the case, not why it is/should it be the case (question prompt)

Homework and Preparation for Term 1 Week 6

Make up lesson on 14 Feb Friday
I am not going to be in school on 17 Feb (Mon). As such, a make-up lesson has been planned on 14 Feb (Fri) from 1345h to 1445h. The venue will be your regular classroom. Attendance is compulsory. 

Plans for your regular EL lesson on 17 Feb (Mon) will be confirmed in due course as I am asking if any of your teachers would like to take over that slot.

Reading Programme
Deadline: 10 Feb (Mon)
The files you have submitted this week will be returned on 10 Feb (Mon) during assembly. Please take 5 min during your recess to get ready this week’s reading tasks for submission by the end of the day.  You are to read the following two articles given out in class today and do the tasks found at the end of the articles for this week's reading task:
(a) How important are dreams
(b) The busy trap

Preparation for lesson
Ready for lesson on 10 Feb (Mon)
Read the handout on Paragraph Development found here
(a) Make a copy of the document on your own google drive. 
(b) On your own copy, analyse the sample paragraphs based on the given instructions.
(c) Use the comment and highlighting functions to do your analysis

You are required to bring your LDs to class and load your analysis before lesson for checking. Please arrange your tables in the required seating arrangement for English.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Homework on Signposting

Please post what you group has been assigned to do as comments to this thread.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Lesson Summary for 03/02/14

Key Learning Points
- When answering comprehension questions, use the words in the questions as a guide.
e.g. What do people do to wildlife in different parts of the world, according to lines 9-11?
Ans: People use them ... / People (verb) them ...

- Word choice is very important as it could affect the answers and also phrasing of the answers is important.

- Be more specific when answering questions.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Feedback for Term 1 Week 2 Reading Tasks

Admin matters for Reading Tasks
1) Do not submit reading tasks which have already been marked. You are to file them in the big blue ring file for EL according to the instructions mentioned in the Admin Guide.

2) Do not file other worksheets with your Reading Task Binder. Each week, I should only see the required reading tasks in your binder and nothing else.

3) Staple your tasks to the articles and submit them together.

4) Leave the appropriate margin in your writing to ensure that your writing is not blocked by the layout of the file when you write on the back facing side of your paper.

5) Use the correct content page, punch holes and file it on top of your reading tasks. All materials should be filed this way for easy access.

Feedback on Reading Tasks
1) The feedback for "Why a fat tax won't work in Singapore" and "The End of Serendipity" have been posted on the cohort Facebook group to benefit more students.

2) For "The Machine Stops", many students managed to see that today's society is becoming less personal and face-to-face interaction is on the decline. An often cited example is the prevalence of texting and surfing on social media sites even when in the company of others.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Online automated writing tutoring program to help you improve your language

SST has subscribed to a web-based grammar database "Grammarly@EDU".
Grammarly@edu is an automated writing tutoring program which 
  • helps students develop sentence-level writing skills like grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and vocabulary usage;
  • reinforces proper citation habits by directing students to improperly quoted content in their texts;
  • encourages students to revise their writing, helping to improve the quality of written assignments which students turn in;
To access the program:

2) Click on "Sign-up" button at the upper right corner of the page.
3) Enter your name and institutional email (SST email) address; choose a password.
4) Click "Continue", you will receive an email confirming your registration
5) Click on the link in the confirmation email and you will have access to Grammarly@EDU